1 Answer | Add Yours
What is interesting about this story is the way in which the two central characters, Ulrich and Georg, are presented as being almost identical, but actually, in my opinion, can also be viewed as being rather different. One way in which Saki presents this difference is through the two offers that Ulrich makes to his arch-enemy. Note in the story that it is Ulrich who offers Georg his wine flask, and then it is Ulrich again who says that if his men come first, then Georg will be helped first as if he were Ulrich's guest. Note what Ulrich says in this second offer:
If my men are the first to come, you shall be the first to be helped, as though you were my guest. We have quarreled like devils all our lives over this stupid strip of forest, where the trees can't even stand upright in a breath of wind. Lying here tonight, thinking, I've come to think we've been rather fools; there are better things in life than getting the better of a boundary dispute. Neighbour, if you will help me to bury the old quarrel, I--I will ask you to be my friend.
In any quarrel, it always takes one individual to be big enough and strong enough to lay aside his emnity and hatred in order to make peace, and we can see in this story that what separates Ulrich from George is that Ulrich is the first to do this. The peace that is forged in this precarious situation is initiated by Ulrich at every turn, and Georg is only the man who agrees to it once it has been proposed. To my mind, this shows us that Ulrich is the bigger and better person out of the two of them, as it is he who has the courage to lay aside his hatred first, and it is he who sees the feud for what it really is: a way of wasting their lives.
We’ve answered 288,268 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question